Thanks for the emails! NO, I didn't get transferred. We're still in Dekalb for another 6 weeks. But funny about your letter. Did you know that you sent me the letter you wrote on August 13th? You must have hit a few wrong buttons on the computer or something. So I read the talks instead. Wow! Powerful talks! Thanks so much for sending those! And also if you ever feel the need to do a mommy rehab thingy and send me a box, I'm getting sick of the same music ALL THE TIME. Hilary Weeks has a Collection CD out. It's super good. It has Prove Me and Be Still on it, and a lot of other good songs too. Just for your info.
Speaking of Prove Me. That is one of my favorite songs. "Till humility chases away the Pride" "The Love that Purifies me" "Til my faith leads me to a grove of trees." Wow! Powerful songs! It talks about turning our heart to the Lords, doing His will instead of stubbornly insisting on doing ours. Something I"m working so hard, and failing every day to do. But the thing is is that I keep on trying right?
I just read the letter from the boys (and dad [why does his letters always come with the kids letters? I think it's hilarious!]) about Wilnewt smearing berries all over himself. Did you get a picture? Can I have it? That kid is something else.
What's the combined activity BOM thingy Jefferson? I'm clueless. And thank you Dad for your words of comfort and advice.
Sister Howell and I were true sisters! And guess what? She's getting transferred to Beloit! That's in the Rockford Zone! My zone! Different district, but I'll get to see her more often! I'm so stinking excited!
She's my best friend out here. During comp study we just talked about what we could do for the ward, or how we needed to stop working at 9:30 cuz we would usually stop working at 10, then get up 8 hrs later and start again. It was exhausting, but we just had so much fun! We worked hard, and our work paid off! I love that girl!
Last night we were at C's. For some reason he really didn't want to listen to me and he made that clear after I explained the 3 kingdoms. He just went, "uhhu, so Sister Wallace what do you say about these three rewards?" And he said it in a way that sounded as if he really didn't believe me, or I was just making stuff up. Well I got the hint that he thought I was teaching too much. But this time. Well she took over the lesson. She and our member, I hardly said another word. She taught the WOW and committed him. She taught powerfully, simply but powerfully. Clearly too. It was the first time I had seen her teach like that. I"m definitely going to trust her more. She's going to be leading most lessons, and then committing them and inviting them to pray. I just need to learn to take the back seat. She'll never get better if she doesn't do right?
And Jackson's experience with the Texans. Yep! Say hello to America! We got out of the car yesterday and saw an older man sitting on a bench. He looked kinda homeless. Sister Wallace introduced herself and he said, 'Oh no, please leave!" He looked oh so down and out! So I asked if there was anything we could do for him. I really wanted to help him in whatever way I could. "Yes, you can leave. I'm trying to be nice, just leave." It was so heartbreaking. We know we have such a great gift, or we want to help someone so bad, but they can't humble themselves to accept it. Then we met two people our age. After the girl said, "Oh no, are you guys still baptizing dead people? And wear magical underwear?" I knew it was a lost cause. Bore testimony and left. Americans!
This weekend was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard! Lessons falling through, and NO ONE wanted to listen. Tracted all day. It felt like the beginning of my mission. Then I think it was Friday or Saturday night when I got a letter from Kendra. She told me that Brother Outzen had passed away. I cried and cried. I wished I could be in Rensselaer with them. I have no idea what happened. I felt what most people feel when a loved one dies and they don't have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, they don't understand it fully. I asked why it had to happen to him. He was so great! Such a great missionary, such a wonderful father. His little girl, Seria was only 1 and half years old. And Sister Baumgaurt had just passed away in July. Why Brother Outzen? Why would God take him? I didn't understand it.
But understanding came. Not completely. But because he was righteous it was his time to go. He is needed on the other side for some reason. I knew that he would be able to hold his little girl again. They would be reunited. But that still didn't stop me from bawling. I am ever so thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the complete knowledge that we have. I just hope and pray that the Outzens and the branch members are doing okay. I want to give Sister Outzen a big hug! That night I wanted to go home. Not Tri-cities or Rexburg, but to Rensselaer. I missed it so much. I missed the love. I missed being me there.
Rensselaer it was different. They loved YOU. Any missionary who goes there and doesn't feel that love is messed up. And it's not that I don't love Dekalb, I do. I just love Rensselaer more...and I miss it. Well enough of that.
Yesterday when we found out Sister Leahman was going to be training and whitewashing an area (Belvedear in Rockford Zone) I was thinking of how long she had left. 3 transfers! Three! That meant I had 4! I did the math, well Sister Wallace did...24 weeks! What the heck! Only that long! That's it? Sister Wallace said that was a long time. And it is when you're only 2 months into the mission. But when you're over a year that’s just a blink. I didn't want to think about it. So instead I put another number to it 5. 5 planners! I get to use 5 more planners, then I get on that plane. I know that when that time comes I’ll be excited and sad. But we're not thinking about that now. We're just working our little rear off 'til the last day.
Next week Elder Ellis? comes to tour the mission. I think he's from the 70s. We have a mass zone conference in Naperville. 5 zones! Crazy! I'm excited though. So many missionaries! Sadly I won't see Sister Mondelli unless she's transferred out of the city, or Elder Dearinger. I'm really hoping to stay in Dekalb for the rest of my mission...unless I get moved back to the Celestial Kingdom.
Super cool about the lesson though at the house. Say hi to Elder Larkin for me! Small world that we knew each other in the MTC.
What I’ve started to do in lessons now is to read from the BOM if they don't read. Like with D. It was our 4th lesson with her and she still hadn't read. So we cracked it open and read from 3 Nephi 11. She was reading ahead and asking questions, and I could tell that just by giving her a taste of what was in there she wanted to read more. We're hoping she does.
I have to have faith that I’m planting seeds that will be harvested someday somewhere. I have harvested seeds planted by other missionaries years and years ago. C's first contact with missionaries was in 2003. Now he's set for date.
Well I’m gonna let you go and email some pics to you of last pday and this week.
Love you all! And thank you so much for your prayers and support! I couldn't do it without you!
You are the greatest family in the world!
Love, Sister Ostler